Marmellata di cipolle (onion marmalade) is a very simple in preparation but incredibly fascinating by its taste company for good cheese, especially hard cheese types like pecorino, parmigiano (Parmesan), gruyère or the original British cheddar.
Although the very idea of cooking marmalade out of onions may sound for many people discouraging, you will be surprised by the result. First time I tried it on a piece of pecorino, I got excited by this completely unusual and unidentifiable spread. I suspected everything in that but onion.
The marmalade should be actually cooked from the red onion from Tropea (a community in Calabria). This is a very popular kind of onion in Italy, bigger and sweeter than the red onion known in many other European countries, but I’m afraid that it’s virtually impossible to find it outside of the Bel Paese. So, let’s stick to the red onion we can get in a usual supermarket, wherever in the world.
I’m presenting you a recipe I got from Nicoletta, my friend from Bologna. We need 1 kg of red onion, a little bit of red wine (2-4 tablespoons) and sugar, at least 150 g. Basically, you can substitute red wine with white one, but the red wine helps to emphasize the color of the onions, making it deeper.
Well, so chop the onion, and let it simmer with the 2-4 tablespoons of wine in a covered pot. You don’t need to add any water or oil as onion will lose its juice, which is enough to stew it without any risk of burning. Once the onion has become soft and has lost its red color, you can add sugar. Start with 150 g. Usually it’s more than enough, but if you are not satisfied with the sweetness of the stew, add more sugar. Nicoletta said that, in some cases, even another 150 g of sugar might be needed. This, however, has never happened to me. Now, leave the onions to caramelize and the juice to evaporate. It will take at least an hour. Stir it from time to time, especially in the very end when the stew is getting thicker. The consistence of the marmalade should be dense and pretty dry, even more than powidl.
Marmellata di cipolle can be preserved as all other marmalades.